Success as a Financial Advisor For Dummies

Book description

A must-have reference for financial advisors 

In step-by-step detail, Success as a Financial Advisor For Dummies covers how a current or would-be financial advisor can maximize their professional success through a series of behaviors, activities, and specific client-centric value propositions.  In a time when federal regulators are changing the landscape on the standard of care that financial services clients should expect from their advisors, this book affords professionals insight on how they can be evolving their practices to align with the regulatory and technological trends currently underway.  

Inside, you’ll find out how a financial advisor can be a true fiduciary, how to compete against the growing field of robo-advisors, and how the passive investing trend is actually all about being an active investor.  Additionally, you’ll discover time-tested advice on building and focusing on client relationships, having a top advisor mindset, and much more.

  • Master the seven core competencies
  • Attract and win new business
  • Pick the right clients
  • Benchmark your performance
  • Start your own firm

Brimming with practical expert advice, Success as a Financial Advisor For Dummies is a priceless success tool for any wannabe or experienced financial advisor.

Table of contents

  1. Cover
  2. Introduction
    1. About This Book
    2. Foolish Assumptions
    3. Icons Used in This Book
    4. Where to Go from Here
  3. Part 1: Getting Started as a Financial Advisor
    1. Chapter 1: Looking at the Big Picture
      1. Understanding What a Financial Advisor Does (or Should Do)
      2. Evaluating Yourself: Do You Have What It Takes?
      3. Deciding Whether to Fly Solo or Work in a Firm
      4. Taking Inventory: What You Need to Know
      5. Providing Superior Service to Your Clients
      6. Growing Your Client Base
      7. Moving Up: Starting Your Own Firm
    2. Chapter 2: Deciding Whether You’re Geared to Be a Financial Advisor
      1. Evaluating Your Personality Traits
      2. Questioning Your Motivations
      3. Balancing Leadership and Service
    3. Chapter 3: Performing a Self Background Check
      1. Choosing a Career Path
      2. Capitalizing on Your Personal Experience
      3. Evaluating Your Financial Position
    4. Chapter 4: Deciding to Work for a Firm or Build Your Own Practice
      1. Knowing Your Options
      2. Investigating Different Revenue Models
      3. Getting On-the-Job Training as an Employee
      4. Finding Employment as an Independent Contractor
      5. Becoming a Registered Investment Advisor
    5. Chapter 5: Surveying the Regulatory Landscape: The Fiduciary Standard
      1. Familiarizing Yourself with Your Role as Financial Advisor
      2. Recognizing the Confusion over Obligations and Care Standards
      3. Sifting through the Clouds of Bureaucracy
      4. Governing Itself: Industry Organizations Weigh In
      5. Looking to the Future
  4. Part 2: Mastering Core Competencies
    1. Chapter 6: Pursuing Professional Development
      1. Identifying the Core Competencies
      2. Getting a Formal Education
      3. Obtaining Your Licenses to Practice
      4. Applying Certifications across the Financial Advisory Spectrum
      5. Embracing Continuing Education
    2. Chapter 7: Getting Budgeting under Your Belt
      1. Guiding Clients on Household Budgeting
      2. Exploring Helpful Technology Tools
      3. Leveraging the Power of Auto Pay and Payroll Deductions
    3. Chapter 8: Brushing Up on Asset Management
      1. Developing a Client’s Investment Policy Statement
      2. Agreeing on an Investment Philosophy
      3. Cautioning Clients on “Hot Money” Investments
      4. Comparing Revenue/Compensation Models
    4. Chapter 9: Delving into Liability Management
      1. Assessing a Client’s Risk Profile
      2. Reviewing Insurance Lines and Products
      3. Comparing Revenue/Compensation Models
    5. Chapter 10: Excelling in Estate Planning
      1. Addressing Estate Planning Essentials
      2. Preparing for Estate Settlement Complications
      3. Helping Clients Pass along Values, Not Just Wealth
      4. Teaming Up with Estate Planning Attorneys and Family Accountants
    6. Chapter 11: Tackling Taxation
      1. Reminding Yourself That You’re Not an Accountant
      2. Adding a Tax Advisor to the Team
      3. Managing Capital Gains: Don’t Let the Tail Wag the Dog
      4. Using Tax-Deferred Accounts to Maximize Compounding Returns
      5. Exploring Tax-Free and Tax-Lighter Investments
      6. Slashing Taxes with Retirement, College, and Health Savings Accounts
      7. Taking a Nibble Out of Taxes with Charitable Contributions
    7. Chapter 12: Getting Up to Speed on Behavioral Finance
      1. Recognizing Irrational Factors That Drive Thinking and Behaviors
      2. Muting Irrational Thoughts and Behaviors
      3. Appealing to the Rational Side of Your Client’s Brain
      4. Riding Out Market Cycles: Balancing Fear and Greed
  5. Part 3: Providing Superior, Personalized Service
    1. Chapter 13: Formalizing Your Client Due Diligence Process
      1. Deciding Whether You Want Clients or Consumers
      2. Considering the Factors That Really Matter
      3. Mastering the Four As of Due Diligence
    2. Chapter 14: Developing a Personalized Financial Plan
      1. Obtaining Your Client’s Input
      2. Going Deep and Broad with Every Client
      3. Outlining a Client’s Financial Plan
      4. Making Your Job Easier with Tools and Guides
      5. Reviewing the Plan Regularly
    3. Chapter 15: Offering Collaborative Value-Added Advice
      1. Recognizing the Benefits of a Collaborative Approach
      2. Collaborating to Serve Your Clients Better
      3. Taking on the Role of Your Team’s Quarterback
    4. Chapter 16: Adjusting Your Service Level to Different Clients
      1. Building a Tiered Client Service Model
      2. Scoring Your Clients
      3. Rewarding Quality Clients
    5. Chapter 17: Benchmarking Performance
      1. Measuring Portfolio Success Against a Chosen Index
      2. Riding the Personal Benchmark Trend
      3. Tailoring Performance to Each Client’s Needs
      4. Own It! Don’t Make Excuses for Poor Performance
  6. Part 4: Building Your Clientele
    1. Chapter 18: Earning Clients and Making a Career for a Lifetime
      1. Adding Value before Asking for Referrals
      2. Speaking to Clients in Plain English
      3. Showcasing Your Value Proposition
      4. Being Humble and Honored to Serve Your Clients
    2. Chapter 19: Raising Your Profile with Networking and Marketing
      1. Establishing an Online Presence
      2. Getting Connected in the Real World
      3. Building Your Own Sales Force
      4. Promoting Yourself over the Long Haul
    3. Chapter 20: Teaming Up to Build Synergies
      1. Choosing Your Preferred Role: Lone Wolf or Leader of the Pack
      2. Collaborating with Other Financial Advisors
  7. Part 5: Running Your Practice as a Business
    1. Chapter 21: Transitioning from Solo Practitioner to Business Owner
      1. Gut Check: Deciding Whether Starting Your Own Firm Is the Right Move for You
      2. Putting All the Pieces in Place
      3. Measuring Success in Terms of Profit Margin
      4. Achieving Growth through Mergers and Acquisitions
      5. Planning Your Exit Strategy
    2. Chapter 22: Structuring Your Firm as a Well-Oiled Machine
      1. Organizing Your Business by Department
      2. Identifying Business Development’s Focus Areas
      3. Delegating Responsibilities to Client Service Associates
      4. Assigning Administrative/Operational Responsibilities
    3. Chapter 23: Divvying Up Your Business: Equity Participation
      1. Keeping Some Profits in the Firm
      2. Adopting a Founder Mentality
      3. Offering Equity Buy-in to Team Members
      4. Proceeding When Equity Ownership Doesn’t Matter
    4. Chapter 24: Ensuring Business Continuity and Planning for Succession
      1. Creating a Hit-by-the-Bus Business Continuity Plan
      2. Protecting Your Heirs’ Interests with a Buy-Sell Agreement
      3. Planning for Succession
  8. Part 6: The Part of Tens
    1. Chapter 25: Ten Tips for Being a Successful Financial Advisor
      1. Let Your Conscience Be Your Guide
      2. Beware of False Profits
      3. Protect Your Clients from Predators
      4. Don’t Use Big Words
      5. Remember That Good Service Makes Up for Other Shortcomings
      6. Be Active in a Community Cause
      7. Be Eager to Acquire New Information and to Share What You Know
      8. Focus More on Skills, Less on Tools
      9. Appreciate the Trust Your Clients Place in You
      10. Always Ask: What If I’m Wrong?
    2. Chapter 26: Ten Business-Building Activities
      1. Schedule Client Review Meetings
      2. Keep a Log of Friends and Family That Your Clients Mention
      3. Sponsor One Charitable Event Each Year
      4. Break Bread with Your Best Clients
      5. Be Responsive: Practice the Same-Day Rule
      6. Attend Every Party You’re Invited to
      7. Have an Elevator Pitch
      8. Welcome All Prospects, Large or Small
      9. Stop Selling and Start Telling Stories
      10. Be Active on Social Media
  9. Appendix: Financial Advisor Resources
    1. Professional Licensing Bodies
    2. Professional Development Resources
    3. Trade Publications and Resources
    4. Consultants and Books
  10. Index
  11. About the Author
  12. Advertisement Page
  13. Connect with Dummies
  14. End User License Agreement

Product information

  • Title: Success as a Financial Advisor For Dummies
  • Author(s): Ivan M. Illan
  • Release date: December 2018
  • Publisher(s): For Dummies
  • ISBN: 9781119504108